By Shayne Terry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted October 2002
Summary: What truly defines Lois Lane? For Clark Kent, beauty is only the start of it.
Watching her was his hobby. The way she moved, the shape of her face, her expressions as the day didn't go as she wanted. She was beautiful in ways he never would have expected, and she grew only more so with each passing day.
She'd asked him once about being invisible or flying, and he'd given her the answer she expected. Given the choice, he'd fly. Flying was a sensation he was more than familiar with. He felt it every time she came near, and often she was all he could think about as he moved silently through the night sky.
Being invisible hadn't been nearly as enjoyable. At least Lois no longer dismissed him as unworthy of her attention. They'd been through too much together, and their friendship had grown too deep for him to believe that she didn't see him for who he was.
That she didn't love him was a tragedy; that he was still allowed to be with her was a gift. Each and every morning he woke with the anticipation of seeing her; each night he fell asleep thinking of the morning to come.
It frightened him sometimes, how focused he was on her. In a city of ten million people, he could hear her heartbeat, her breathing, her cries for help before anyone else. Some nights he fell asleep to the quiet rhythm of her breathing, allowing the pulse of the city to fade away until she was the only thing in his world.
If she grew any more beautiful, he wouldn't be able to look at her. That she was attractive wasn't what gave her true beauty; he'd traveled the world and seen attractive women, some of whom most men might have thought were even more beautiful than she was.
Beauty wasn't a word that should apply to the body. Neither was ugliness. Clark had seen true ugliness in the way men treated their fellow man. He'd seen beauty as well, and usually neither had much to do with outside appearances.
Lois had an inner beauty that by far eclipsed the shape nature had given her. She had passion and fire, dedication and an unyielding determination to find the truth. Intelligence, humor, and a capacity to care helped shape her, and yet all of it together didn't begin to express who she was.
She was Superman as much as he was. Superman was the expression of her dreams, her ideals, her expectations. In her fantasies, she revealed much about herself. In her passion, she sought to make the world a better place. In passing, she made him a better man.
Before he'd met her, he'd never fully understood his role in life. He'd been lonely, searching for meaning, and yet somehow it had always been elusive. He'd helped out where he could, but his decisions hadn't always been the best. Leaving had always been easier than working out his problems, and fear of revealing his secret had sometimes only been an excuse.
Connecting with people had never been easy for him. Casual friendships had been easy, but connecting on a deep, personal level had always been frightening. He'd never even been tempted to tell anyone his secret, and along with that, he'd never revealed his deep feelings to anyone.
His parents had been willing to listen to anything he'd had to say, but some feelings he simply hadn't been able to share with them. Some things needed a friend, and in a sense, he'd never really had one before.
Telling Lois had been a temptation from the first day. He'd been drawn to her from the moment he'd met her, in a way that was more than sexual. She challenged him, intrigued him and excited him in ways he'd never known.
If it weren't for Superman, he'd tell her in an instant. Jealousy of himself was foolish, but that wasn't the real problem. He loved her, and he craved her love with an intensity that frightened him sometimes. If she didn't love him for who he was, it would all be a lie, and that would be even more hollow than being forever apart.
Yet her beauty grew, and their friendship grew, and his desire for her grew into a craving that couldn't be denied.
It was almost more than he could do to take his eyes from her sometimes.
Craving could only be resisted for so long before the strongest soul gave in. Simply because she didn't yet love him didn't mean that she might not one day. Already they had a friendship deeper and more fulfilling than he'd ever known.
Losing that was his greatest fear. It was easier sometimes to fall into daydreams than face the possibility of losing her, but he was no longer able to accept that. Desire wasn't more powerful than fear, but need was. He needed her with every fiber of his being, and he couldn't wait a moment longer.
"Uh, Lois, I want to ask you something." Asking was hard, waiting for her response would be even harder. Once the question was asked, everything would change. He'd never be able to go back to just watching again.
In truth, he didn't want to.